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Mayor Steinberg's Biography

Sacramento's 56th Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Mayor Darrell Steinberg has served the people of Sacramento for 25 years and counting. 

Elected as Sacramento’s mayor in 2016, he has guided the city through an unprecedented pandemic and the long overdue reckoning around race and equity. 

In 2018, he campaigned for and won voter passage of Measure U, a one-cent sales tax, with a commitment to invest in economic development, youth and affordable housing. In the last three years, the City has invested more than $ 170 million on inclusive economic development and has devoted the vast majority of its more than $200 in federal Covid relief funds to uplifting the community by funding workforce training, grants to small businesses and artists, youth programs and other community investments. 

As leader of California’s Big City Mayors, Mayor Steinberg successfully negotiated with both Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Gavin Newsom to make an unprecedented statewide commitment to addressing homelessness – a commitment that has brought millions of dollars of additional funding home to Sacramento. 

Mayor Steinberg has also led the effort to diversify and energize Sacramento’s economy. He crafted an incentive package that helped attract the West Coast headquarters of Centene, a healthcare giant and Sacramento’s first Fortune 100 company. He also negotiated legal settlements that paved the way for the construction of UC Davis’ innovation campus, Aggie Square, which will bring thousands of new jobs to Sacramento while also investing millions in surrounding neighborhoods to prevent displacement of current residents. 

Prior to becoming Mayor, Steinberg served 14 years in the State Legislature, and became the first Sacramentan to serve as President of the Senate in over 125 years. 

As Senate Pro Tem, he worked with two Governors and multiple legislative leaders to help lead the state through its worst economic crisis in decades. His bipartisan work helped end the state budget crisis and earned him and three other Legislative leaders the 2010 John F Kennedy Profiles in Courage Award, one of the highest political honors in the country. 

He authored landmark pieces of legislation such as the Mental Health Services Act, a tax on millionaires that now produces more than $3 billion a year to fund mental health services in California; and SB 375, the first bill in the nation to require cities and counties to meet aggressive climate goals as they plan their long-term growth. His legislative record in many other areas of vital public policy -- education, foster care, autism, housing, initiative reform among them -- earned him a reputation as one of the most effective legislators of his generation. 

Mayor Steinberg left the Legislature in 2014 due to term limits and subsequently founded the independent Steinberg Institute, which today has become the leading voice on mental health policy and legislation in California. 

As a young father, Darrell served on the Sacramento City Council, focusing on keeping neighborhoods safe, creating good jobs and providing quality after-school programs. He founded the Sacramento START after school program to help kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods improve their test scores. 

No matter his office, he has always maintained a strong connection to Sacramento’s neighborhoods has been one of his top priorities since his early days as president of the Tahoe Park Neighborhood Association. Every weekend and many weeknights, the mayor can be found out mingling at events and gatherings. 

Darrell Steinberg and his wife, Julie, have two grown children, Jordana and Ari. Darrell is a graduate of UCLA and UC Davis Law School.